Thursday, May 31, 2012

Customer Service Representative, Part 3

Dear Mr. Thomar, the Bringer of Inconceivable Destruction,

            Franklin Family Construction is flattered by your counter offer of 10,000 gold pieces and seventy goats to aid in the construction of your “Castle of Doom atop the Highest Mountain Surrounded by a Moat of Pain”. However, this is clearly well below the estimate we originally sent. Such a fee is not enough to cover our permits to build outside the United States, much less in another dimension. The estimate plainly stated that the Moat of Pain itself was going to cost at least fifty goats.

            In addition, our highly skilled crew would be unable to work under your foreman, Lord Bramer, Fist of Death. We have our own foreman, Jeff, who is quite adept at motivating our crew without whipping or constant threats that they be sent to the Pit of Perpetual Terror. Of course, we understand there are many different ways to motivate a crew. Jeff has just found another way to get his crew working in his own way. Different motivation tactics for different people, as they say.

            Should you choose to accept the original estimate, we will be able to begin work next Tuesday. This will give us plenty of time to finish construction well before the Festival of the Solar Dragon in six months. I believe this was your timetable in ensuring a proper tribute to the Old Ones, and thus allowing you to take your rightful place as leader of your home dimension. Any other delay and I am afraid we will have to cancel this project, and move onto another.

            Thank you very much for your time.


            T. Franklin
            Customer Service Representative
            Franklin Family Construction

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Customer Service Representative, continued

Dear Mr. Jones,

            Thank you for your interest in our company. Franklin Family Construction does pride itself in taking on new and exciting projects that push us to our creative limit. Projects like the one you describe certainly match our mission statement of finding challenging and creative projects, but we do have a few concerns.

            None of our crew nor subcontractors have experience working in a zero gravity environment. As a result, we do not believe we would be able to have your Moon Base operational in the three week timeframe you are requesting. In addition, we do not have the resources to commute daily from our home office here in Washington DC to your home base on the dark side of the moon.

            While you mention that you do have most of your materials, and we appreciate the sample, but none of us is familiar with this type of metal. You claim it to be the only substance in the universe that will weaken your arch-nemesis, but just don’t have the ability to work with this material.

            Many apologies, but this just will not work. If we knew of someone to refer you In the future, if you choose to build another base closer to the ground with more traditional materials, you will keep us in mind.

            T. Franklin
           Customer Service Representative
            Franklin Family Construction

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Customer Service Representative

Dear Mr. Smith

            We at Franklin Family Construction are pleased that you chose us to assist with the construction of your facility. However, we are not pleased to hear that you were not satisfied with the results.  We sincerely apologize for this, as we strive to provide you with not only the best construction services, but with the best customer service as well. Maybe I can address some of the concerns in your most recent letter.

            1. The ropes above the shark pit were never intended to carry anyone over 200 pounds. This was made explicitly clear when you chose to go with the cheapest model available. If anyone over 200 pounds is tied to those ropes, this overexerts the motor and as you put it, “can allow people to escape” if equipped with a laser in their watch. (Also, an unforeseen circumstance.)

            2. You had chosen a location that was off any electrical grid. I know we attempted to compensate with solar and wind power, but you were warned that there would not be enough to power your Beam of Incomprehensible Destruction.  I know that times are tight, and that there isn’t much call for a man in your business, but had we tapped into the geothermal energy of the volcano you were on top of, perhaps we would have been able to generate enough power to at least reach France.

            3. Perhaps we could have placed the self-destruct button further away from the coffee maker in the break room.

            4. Our construction crew is very talented. We pride ourselves on having the best, hardest working crew. However, it was a little difficult for our Foreman to motivate our crew to work hard after the first few disintegrations. We apologize for the delay in your service because of this.

            5. We had subcontracted out the escape pod. I apologize that did not work as well as we had originally advertised. Due to the aforementioned disintegrations, we were falling behind.

            We apologize again for any inconvenience these problems may have caused. Please accept the enclosed coupon for 30% off our next estimate, and hopefully you can use us when you are no longer incarcerated.

            Thank you again for your business, and for the referral to your colleague, Mr. “Jones.”


            T. Franklin
            Customer Service Representative
            Franklin Family Construction

Friday, May 25, 2012

For One Night Only: Robin Goodfellow and the Lords of Misrule!

                As we approach Memorial Day, there are many different topics I could cover in this blog. I mean, after all, it’s a day that we honor the sacrifice of all those who have defended our country. It’s the unofficial start of summer. It’s the first day off many of us are getting in several months. It’s the reminder that you have done nothing to prepare for swimsuit season, and that bright yellow ball in the sky is not God’s anger, but rather the sun. I’m going to use this opportunity to discuss how we can solve the European Debt Crisis.

            Just kidding. I’m actually going to keep this somewhat short… you all want to get to your weekend and don’t want to read something long. (Or are reading this on Monday, and don’t want to be reminded that your weekend is past.) I’m actually going to talk about something that was big in England back in “the day”. (and if you have followed this blog, you know that when I mean back in “the day” I mean way back before there were cars or the internet.)

            Shakespeare wrote several plays that were to be performed around the time of festivals, similar to what we are celebrating this weekend. Two of them were Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  They were meant to be performed around two different festivals, mind you, but each one had a character that represented my favorite concept around this time: The Lord of Misrule. The Lord of Misrule, in addition to being the awesomest name for a band in history, was a character that caused mischief throughout the festival, and reminded people not to take things to seriously. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the character of Puck, who was this play’s Lord of Misrule, actually addresses the audience and tells them to lighten up at the end.

            I once had a professor give me the ultimate compliment. He told me that I would go far due to my adherence to “the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter…” That stuck with me. It also reminded me that most of the people who go far in life are the ones willing to cause a little bit of mischief, and don’t take things too seriously.

            Here’s to spreading some mischief wherever you go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


           All content in this blog is ©2012 Bad Shakespeare, especially all jokes pertaining to George Clooney and the upcoming human/machine war. These two things are closely related, but I will not tell you how until a future post, hopefully before the human/machine/George Clooney war.  The names have been changed when it amuses me. If you see anyone mentioned in this blog that you believe is you and it offends you then I assure you that it’s someone else. If it flatters you, then enjoy the flattering portrayal. Any other resemblance to people living or dead is coincidental. Any resemblance to giant fighting robots and/or Cloverfield Monsters would be pretty awesome.

            All of the opinions expressed in this blog are 100% the opinions of the writer, and do not reflect the views expressed by Mr. William Shakespeare or the aforementioned cyborg king, George Clooney. The only real interaction I’ve had with George Clooney is that one time I talked to him in a bar and he said, “for the last time, kid, I’m not George Clooney, stop talking to me.” If you are offended, then I’m obviously doing my job. If you are not offended, then please let me know and I will try harder.

            Side effects to reading this blog may include: increased awareness of William Shakespeare, bouts of both laughter and sadness, hair loss, brief spontaneous combustion, and a strong desire to run outside and sing “Tell Her About it” at the top of your lungs at 2 a.m. It is not recommended you do this and Bad Shakespeare is not responsible for any arrests or complaints. Also, you may start setting off metal detectors in airports. Allow for extra time to board your plane. Please do not read while operating heavy machinery. If you do feel the need read while operating heavy machinery, please use extreme caution and wear knee pads and bring an umbrella.

            No part of this blog may be reprinted without the express written consent of the writer, William Shakespeare, or Major League Baseball. I really got screwed in that deal. It may not be copied by any known technology or any technology that has yet to be invented. This includes but is not limited to: direct downloading into the brain, Google Glasses, written on stone tables (after the human/machine/George Clooney war), translated into Canadian Goose Language, or Inception.

            Thank you for taking the time to read Bad Shakespeare. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

William Shakespeare Has Sunketh Mine Battleship

            So, once again, The Avengers dominates the box-office.  Apparently if you take a good story, good actors, and make sure it’s well written in a way that stays true to the source material but even non-fans can understand, people will not only like it but go back and see it as another company attempts to make a two hundred million dollar commercial for a 50 year old board game.

            “But”, you are asking yourselves over a box of your Count Chocolua cereal or perhaps while attempting to stop the Trix Bunny, “We know you like superhero stuff, but what does this have to do with Shakespeare, teaching, or any other general weirdness you usually write about.” My answer is: I’m writing about Shakespeare today, and I’m creating the mood. Please let me get to my point.

            Where was I? Oh, yes, The Avengers and it’s flat out dominance in the box office. As I’ve mentioned before, the box office has always been a huge deal, not just nowadays but as far back as anyone can remember. It wasn’t always called the box office, sometimes it was “Oog’s funny pictures better than Meh’s funny pictures.”  Then Meh would do some quiet indie pictures, and even though Meh won more awards than Oog. Then Meh would die young, knowing that he had more critical acclaim then Oog.

            Moving on.

Back in Shakespeare’s day the box office was called Henslowe’s diary, and it was the reason we still know about Shakespeare: he was popular (As mentioned). People would pirate his work, and some people believe that there is a question as to whether he wrote all of these plays, or if he was someone else. (These people are referred to in the academic community as “needing to get a life”). You don’t achieve real fame until there’s some kind of conspiracy around who you are. (Which is why I started the rumor that I secretly own Canada.)

 We may see him as high art now, and people won’t run that new Coriolanus movie that starred Lord Voldemort in a lot of movie theaters, but back in the day Shakespeare was popular, and played often. Maybe not Avengers popular, but none of his characters were played by Robert Downey Jr.  But he used all of the same tricks: Special effects, stunt casting, even plenty of fart jokes. No, seriously, I joke that he created the Saw franchise early on, but dude was really the Adam Sandler of his day. (That's a post for another day.)

            Which means in another 100 years or so, there may be classes on the great Sandler, and his influence on culture and the deep meaning behind Happy Gilmore. (Bob Barker is the wise old man who helps guide the young upstart into his place in the world. The alligator is just an alligator) And once they move my brain into a robot body, I’ll probably help teach that class.

            There you have it. Now when people are talking about The Avengers today, you have something intelligent to add to the conversation. Impress your friends! Bore your enemies!

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Aboard the Censor-Ship 2: Die Harder

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that could be described as “thought provoking” and “handsome” by people who describe my posts (me) about censorship and book banning in schools. At the time, I was working on a banned book project. (Which, if tweaked a little bit, could have been an awesome project on band books, but I digress.)

            This is a topic that I really do wish continue to explore. It fascinates me, the idea that we are so afraid of some ideas that we have to flat out ban them because… why? Is there ever a good reason to ban a book?

            I’m still very much in the camp that banning books is a bad idea, and historically, it has never turned out well. Once you ban a book, you give it more power. Then you also run into that problem that you face with kids (and me) where if you tell them NOT to do something, they’re going to run out and do it. (of course in that case, maybe we SHOULD ban all books…) But someone commented on the age appropriateness of books in the classroom… I’ll give you that, but with a bit of a Shyamalanian twist. I think you have to look at the maturity of students before giving out some books, not necessarily the age. There are some fourth graders more mature than 16 year olds out there. There are some 16 year olds more mature than some television news pundits. It’s all relative, and it’s a difficult balance to try and strike. (Like getting a bear to ride a unicycle: If it’s too big, it’s not funny. If it’s too small, it’s not funny enough.)

That fourth grader may not understand the intricate history involved in the killing your enemies and baking them into a pie to serve to their parents that was Titus Andronicus. (Shakespeare was the original author of Saw. Look it up.) Does this mean that we ban this forever? No. I think it means we wait until they are mature enough to handle the material. (Sixth grade, maybe?) I joke and use an extreme example, but there was a book that we read in my class that did divide some of the students.

It was called Perfect and it featured things like date rape, eating disorders, steroid use, and other problems that we would like to pretend that kids don’t have to face today. I will level with you, it is not a happy book, and it does not have a happy ending. It is not an easy read, and I’m… well, let’s just say well over high school age. Should every high schooler be handed this book and told to read it? No. Do I think with the right students, they could get something out of this book and possibly open a dialogue about these issues? I think it could. Will I ask myself questions in every post? I don’t know… maybe. I know this book divided the class on whether or not it should be taught. In the right setting, it could be a powerful, powerful experience. But we have to give our students the opportunity to figure that out. They may read it and think it’s too much. They may read it, devour it, and seek out more books like it.  I could never pull this book so that no student could find it because I was afraid it would offend or because I want to pretend someone isn’t going through this. The “la-la-la-la I can’t hear you” method of going through life rarely works.  

This is your food for thought for today.  And keep in mind, these are just my opinions, not binding arbitration. This is a difficult subject, and there are no easy answers, and a guy wearing a Green Lantern Ring while he types this probably won’t solve all the difficult nuances behind this subject. (But I am willing to solve the problem of the best Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner. You’re welcome, America.)

I still plan do to do more with banned books, doled out thoughtfully over the course of the next few months because it is a heavy subject, and break it up more. Head to the comments section to weigh in, or email me at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 124th Annual Shelley School for Advanced Young Scientific Minds Science Fair!

The Shelley School for Advanced Young Scientific Minds is pleased to announce its annual end of the year Science Fair to be held in the Tesla Memorial Gymnasium on May 22nd, 2012. (Date subject to changes within the timeline.) This year’s Science Fair is sponsored by the estate of Dr. Henry Jekyll, one of the first to truly understand what it means to push you to the scientific limit. This contest is open to all students with at least a 3.5 GPA, excluding Gym. Let these entries guide you as you go out into the world and attempt to make it a better place through whatever means necessary.  However, as with any contest, we will need to have some guidelines.

            1. Cloning is permitted. (No Kardashians.)

            2. No time travel. It is messy, and it is impossible to judge. This includes bringing historical figures into the present, especially Theodore Roosevelt, who has had enough trips into the present day.

            3. All robots must be built emotion free. Let us not forget the lessons of last year. Sentient Robot Students with emotions, however, are permitted to enter the contest.

            4. Human/Animal hybrids are permitted, but for any hybrid that is more than 50% animal will be subject to a strict review of the restraints. Failure to properly restrain your hybrid may result in disqualification.

            5. Under no circumstances are you to threaten a Superhero (SH) or a Superhero Love Interest. (SHLI) Sidekicks are permitted if they are already the second or third person to use that title.

            6. No Brad Pitt.

            7. No experimentations will be permitted on other students. This list includes but is not limited to: vaporization, teleportation, removal to another universe, mutation, cyborgization, or removal from the timeline.

            8. You may summon only 1 (one) demon or undead creature at a time. You may not sell your or anyone else’s soul to win the competition.

            9. All Death Rays must be registered with the Shop Teacher, Mr. Claw.

            10. Finally, you will be asked to present a short monologue of your own writing that you would use with your project. While this may be of your own writing, you may work with a Monologuing Coach or English Teacher.

To enter, please fill out the form below, due by May 20th. Good luck to all contestants!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reflections on a Three Armed Superwizard

            I just hit the “send” button on my final project of the semester. As anyone who is in college right now will tell you that “send” button is the most glorious, awesome thing in the world.  (Or real life equivalent if your professor is making you turn in things by hand like we are in the dark ages or something.) The feeling of relief… it’s like a giant weight is lifted off you by the hand of Nicolas Cage himself while the other hand gives you a back rub and the other hand serves you your favorite milkshake. (In my world, Nicolas Cage is a three armed superwizard. My world is strange.)

            But as we are at the end of the semester, it always will involve some reflection. Reflection, as you know, involves you staring wistfully off into the distance as your favorite indie band plays a sad tune in the back ground and there is a montage of close-ups to you walking, skipping stones, and contemplating life. (Please note that you may replace your favorite indie band with any cover of “Dust in the Wind.”)

            I don’t know that there is a specific point to wondering. I had a good semester, it’s not like I overcame any big obstacles while circumventing any authority figures. Which is a shame because I feel I’m due for that type of thing. But I believe I did well in my class, and I quite enjoyed it, it forced me to sit down and start reading some really good books. The class was challenging in its own way, but, it was taught in such a manner that my brain was able to grasp the information and hold onto it, meaning no montages as I studied and people helped me study. Which is good, because I don’t have a good song picked out for a studying montage.

            Nope. It was a pretty good semester.

            There’s just always a need to reflect. And I’m no different. I’m jumping right back in with a summer course, and then there will be two exciting adventures this fall (one of them is in Folklore! There’s a huge job market for folklorists, if all the fantasy TV series are teaching me anything.)

            I guess one exciting adventure down, many, many, many more on the horizon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thou Mama...

             In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I have decided to put together a short post that talks about all of the mothers in Shakespearian Plays.

            Shakespeare was not kind to mothers in his cannon of 37 plays. Or 40. Or 39. 37 is the agreed number, but there’s always some dispute. He could have written more, but they were lost to time because they weren’t very good. But then, Titus Andronicus still exists, so it’s hard to figure out what didn’t make the cut.

            Anyway, most of the time things did not fare well for mothers in Shakespearian plays. They ended up dead, like in Hamlet, or with minor roles like in many of his histories. Often times they’re not mentioned at all, even in plays where you think some of them would be mentioned, like in King Lear which is about a father and his daughters.... Ah, I’ve got one: Romeo and Juliet. Lady Capulet is a character… who gives most of her mothering duties to the Nurse who mainly provides comic relief. Oh, and her daughter ends up killing herself. Maybe not the best example.

            Sadly, I think the best examples end up in that cursed play Macbeth. We have one mother, Lady MacDuff who’s death actually puts some motivation into her husband, and Lady Macbeth, who realizes that she wouldn’t be a very good mother.

            So… Happy Mother’s Day, I guess, from me. But not necessarily from William Shakespeare.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rumpus in Peace

I don’t write for children. I write. And someone says, ‘That’s for children’.”

            Maurice Sendak died today. Well, he died the day I’m writing this, you may just as well be reading this two months from now. But it’s called “setting the mood.” I get to do that, when you have a blog one day, you can set the mood however you want.

He leaves a long legacy of writing books, and everyone knows his most famous, “Where the Wild things Are.” I won’t pretend to be too cool to not have read that one. In fact I read it at the beginning of this year. Its message of letting yourself be who you are is a timeless message. Also, wolf costumes and crowns never go out of style.

            What I admire about Maurice Sendak, and will endeavor to incorporate into my teaching, is his ability to not underestimate kids. This is an important lesson and one we should all remember. Too often we want to sanitize things for kids, pretend that some things are too big for them to understand. And this doesn’t just happen to younger kids, it happens all the time, up to and including High School. We think if we pretend that kids won’t understand something, then they won’t have to go through it. And that’s a terrible disservice we do not only to our children, but ourselves. It’s one of the reasons why books are banned or challenged… in an effort to protect children or teenagers.

            It’s important to note in all of this that “Where the Wild Things Are” was a banned book for a while. Only its popularity eventually rescued it, proving once and for all that “obscene” is a subjective thing. Something is only “obscene” until it can make you money, then it’s “art.”

            However, in order to honor Maurice Sendak, I will plan on putting on my finest wolf costume, wearing my finest crown, and letting the wild rumpus begin. My dinner will be warm when I get home.

            R.I.P Maurice… Rumpus in Peace…

Happy National Teacher Day! Now Spit Out That Gum...

           Happy National Teacher Day! Remember, you are where you are right now probably because someone took the time to go ahead and teach you. Take some time out and thank a teacher. 

            Teaching lately has been under attack from people that want to portray teachers as lazy, and which to disrespect them. Today is the day to say "enough" stand up and not only thank a teacher that has meant a lot to you, but remind yourself that teachers work harder than a lot of people wish to admit.

            I know I have plenty of teachers to thank. I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for my old Theatre (He'd want me to spell it that way) Teacher, RL Mirabal, who made it a point to not only get me through High School, but I was able to turn to years later to help me through Graduate School as I learn to be a teacher myself. How many people can say that? Not enough.

            So, thank you, all you teachers who had an influence on me. Thank you for working late. thank you for preparing lessons that want me to learn. Thank you, RL for giving me a place to hang out in High School AND for ensuring I could follow my dream. Thank you teachers, for dealing what you have to deal with on a daily basis.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Your Handy Mini-Guide to Final Exams

So, it’s final exam season for many colleges. (At least for the college I’m at anyway.) This means for many students, it’s time to start working on that Hail Mary Pass that is the A plus on the final exam that makes up 60% of their grade. Crack open that book for the first time and pull up a chair… As someone who has been through this season many times, I feel I’m qualified to give some advice.

            1. Brain food. This is your typical food that you would consume on an average late night. Think anything high in fat, or full of grease. When in doubt, just ask yourself, “Would drunk me eat this?” If the answer is yes, then you should consider eating it.

            2. Those multicolored things are called, “Highlighters” not “Magic Brain Transfer Device.” Go ahead and color the whole book yellow. It might make you feel better, at least.

            3. Cheating never works. Pleading might. It never hurts to try.

            4. Someone in your class should have been paying attention. You all should have met and established who it was going to be on the first day. If you didn’t, then consider this a valuable lesson when you all get in the class next time.

            5. Caffeine. Just caffeine.

            6. Sleep is overrated. If you weren’t studying for finals, you’d be out partying anyway. 2 in the morning is 2 in the morning.

            7. If things look really bleak, start working on a time machine. Then you can go back in time and remind yourself to pay attention, study hard, and none of this will be an issue.

            Have fun and good luck, everybody. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Now if Someone Could Make A Good "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" Movie...

           I’ve talked before about my love of Superheroes and the fact that I truly believe that a lot of modern Superhero stories have their roots in tales handed down from our past.
            Last night I went to see a midnight showing of a movie I have been looking forward to for about four years now: The Avengers. It is, at its core, a timeless story of four men overcoming their differences to work together in battle, and using that newfound camaraderie to take down a giant metal snake monster and aliens coming through a wormhole created by a glowing cube. Yes, it is a timeless tail. If you don’t see evidence of giant metal snakes and glowing wormhole cubes in Shakespearian works, you’re not reading it close enough. I think a glowing wormhole cube is how Hamlet gets around so quickly. Don’t quote me on that.
            What is it about the Superhero that continues to amaze us? The current gripe is that there are too many “Superhero” movies coming out now. But the Superhero story is older than time itself: Tales of people who could do miraculous things have always fascinated humanity. From back when Homer (the blind poet, not the cartoon character) first told his story of a man defying the gods themselves to get home, to Hercules, to Alexander Dumas’ swashbuckling heroes (that spawned several sequels, thank you very much) to Edgar Rice Burrows’ interpretation of a man-ape, to today. The difference between then and now is that rather than keeping these stories in a book, we splash it up on the big screen and follow it up with explosions and twenty minutes of commercials. (This last sentence is brought to you by Hardees.)
            The movie itself was spectacular. I would highly recommend that you share this blog with your friends, go see the movie, and then share this blog again. (The blog sharing has nothing to do with the movie, I just want more people to read it.) Joss Whedon manages to fit together a ton of personalities into a giant big screen epic that would make Homer himself “whoo-hoo” with joy. (The cartoon character. Although the blind poet might not find it too shabby, either.) The special effects are awesome, the dialogue is great, the actors all hit their marks, and there is one sequence that would qualify Joss Whedon for an Academy Award should they not be deathly afraid of the most timeless of stories: The Superhero story.
            The perfect Superhero story to me is one that captures that feeling you had when you were younger. That feeling when you tie a blanket or towel around your shoulders then run around the house with your arms raised making whooshing noises, pretending to save the Earth from monsters or aliens, and always having the perfect powers to stop them. We’ve all done it. Some of us as recently as last week. (whistle nonchalantly.) The Avengers captures this feeling. It is a reminder that no matter how old we get, we can all remember that first time we all saw a story about someone who could do something amazing.
            I bring this up in a teaching/Shakespeare/literature blog because these stories, while often overlooked, are an important part of our heritage. We can try to forget it, or bury a perfectly good story underneath layers of pretending it’s NOT a Superhero’s story or a fantastical tale that stokes our imagination, but that doesn’t change the fact that all of us in the audience are wishing we are able to fly, lift a car, or rush in to save the day. This is all stuff I have said before, but I feel it is important enough to reiterate, especially this weekend when America will be firmly divided between those going to see the Avengers, those who got to the theater too late and are stuck seeing Five Year Engagement, and those who are too “high above” such silly entertainment to give it a fair viewing.
            As for a review of the movie itself… I give it 10 Yorick Skulls out of a possible 10.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All Aboard the Censor-Ship!

            As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I am in class right now. We have received our final projects, and it’s on… wait for it… banned and challenged books. What I like about this professor is the fact that he encourages us to think not just about teaching, but how our teaching is going to impact students in the long run. I haven’t gotten that in all my classes.
            You might be able to tell, I’m against banning books. This post could easily turn into a long screed against banning books and the dangers of allowing kids to attend debutante balls. (The original draft of this veered WAY off topic.) But I’m not going to do it all in one posting. This is my opening post in a conversation that will last a while.
            Banning books is a horrible concept. But it’s been done in every society since the printing press was invented. Books were blamed for horrible tragedies (there were no video games back then), they were seen as an upper class enjoyment not fit for the lower class, they would spread ideas that ran counter to what the ruling class wanted everyone to believe.
            Doing it today under the guise today of “protecting children” is even worse. Protecting them from what? Bad language? Violence? The S-E-X word? Different ideas of a world than the one they live in? Banning books has never turned out well for anyone.
            This is where I cut myself short, before I get on a soapbox. There will be more to come regarding this, in a series of posts that will involve my thoughts, and maybe yours, on banning books. Have any ideas or any angles you’d like to talk about? Mention it in the comments, or email me at